I apologize in advance if this causes you anger.
So. David Goyer. Some fans were happy to hear Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio was being brought into help write the script for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel follow up. Those same folks may not be happy after reading this.
While doing press for Da Vinci’s Demons, Goyer spoke with Spinoff Online about “fans.” Star Tom Riley had told them you can’t put much stock in fan response and Goyer added:
Or Internet chatter, because you’re dealing with an incredibly vocal but incredibly tiny sort of [group]. That’s a mistake that I think a lot of sometimes networks and movie studios make is sort of listening too much to [them]. I mean, it’s important to listen to the fan chatter but you’re really talking about a tiny, tiny, tiny portion of your audience that may not be representative of what your mainstream audience actually thinks or feels.
Of course he didn’t say comic book fans specifically, but I think we can all read the subtext there. And well, the guy has helped adapt several comic book properties to the big screen and the conversation did eventually turn to that:
Well, there are always going to be a myriad of fan theories about how something should have been, or would have been. And sometimes it seems like creators are sometimes are so close to something that to take the step back that fans have might provide a perspective that would actually benefit them. Have you found that to be the case?
I mean, I don’t read everything that’s out there. I wouldn’t have the time. But we’re aware of some of it, yeah, and it would be silly not to be. I think it’s helpful, but at the same time, it’s also, and I’m paraphrasing Steve Jobs, it’s like you don’t give the audience or the consumer what they want, you give them what they don’t even know they want. I mean, being involved in some of these comic book movies and stuff like that, people say, well, this is what they should do. And trust me, if we had just done exactly that I don’t think the audiences would have been completely happy. I mean that’s not to say that filmmakers can’t misfire, but if you try to just do what you think the fan community wants you’ll drive yourself crazy and you won’t actually write anything. So it’s good to have that tension, but I think also some creators pay attention to it too much.
Sigh. I GUESS. Seriously though, I see it from both perspectives. As a writer, you can’t let fans dictate where a story goes but at the same time, without them, you wouldn’t have an audience to begin with. Then again, it’s hard to figure out which “fan chatter” Goyer is talking about – fan rage or legitimate criticisms?
Goyer later added:
Chris Nolan and I absolutely had discussions about that with regards to Superman or Batman and where he exists in the public consciousness and whether or not this was aligned with that or a betrayal of that or not. And sometimes you say, “Yeah, maybe this is different,” and you go for it. And sometimes you’re celebrated for and sometimes you’re not. And then sometimes you say no, this is the way it’s been and this is what we should do.
Speaking of the public consciousness, MTV tried to squeeze a bit of Man of Steel sequel news out of our next Lex Luthor, Jesse Eisenberg, while he was doing press for Rio 2. But they didn’t get very far. They asked specifically if he’d be shaving his head for the role to which he replied, “I’m not allowed to say anything about anything for the next six years.”
Well that’s one way to put it. We sure hope the actor is allowed to talk before then considering the sequel is slated for a May 6, 2016 release date (pitting it against the next Captain America film). Though he seemed to be making light of the whole thing by adding, “I haven’t called my mom back in months.”